Miss World and the world economy

So India’s Parvathy Omanakuttan was the first runner up in Miss World 2008.  Atleast, that’s what I think her name is.  I’ve read various variations of her name in the news reports. The same yahoo slideshow first called her Parvathay, and then decided she was Parvathy Omanakuttai. My limited knowledge of Malayalam tells me “Kuttai” has a completely different meaning from “Kuttan”,  so the news article was unintentionally hilarious.

You can see the Miss World contest judges know what they are doing.  A Russian for Miss World and an Indian for first runner up.  If you throw in last year’s Miss World (China), they have covered three of the four BRIC countries.

I predict that next year’s Miss World will be Brazilian.   What do you say?

On another note, with so many beauty contests held every year, I am surprised that we don’t yet have everlasting world peace.

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15 thoughts on “Miss World and the world economy

  1. Even though your article is in jest (I think), you might be on to something. I remember reading about how the sponsors and backers of these contests (major players in the cosmetics industry) tend to push the jury to favor contestants from certain countries that have markets that they are itching to get into or have markets that can be greatly expanded, as compared to Western countries, which are pretty much saturated markets. The theory is that when a girl from one of these emerging countries wins, it creates a craze among younger women who might aspire for similar success (like when Indians take to obscure sports when some Indian athlete wins an Olympic medal in it). Also, over a period of time, it also raises the beauty bar in society as more and more women turn to cosmetics, forcing average middle-class Janes to think that they need to beautify themselves to keep up, thus sending them towards the latest and greatest on the Cosmetics shelf. Some people also attribute India’s phenomenal victories (like 6 or 7 international crowns in 10 years in the late 90’s/ early 00’s) to this same theory. In the aftermath of the Ash/ Sushmita wins in ’94, it seemed that girls in general seemed to become more make-up conscious. It appears like even “normal” girls started spending money on Western beauty products (as opposed the old kajal/ turmeric/ talcum powder deal.) Of course, it could all be because people have more expendable income since the economic liberalization and a lot of young women live independently now, but somehow the first theory makes some level of sense to me, especially given the sudden rise in the number of pageant winners from India over the last 15 years.
    Disclaimer: I am not saying that BRIC contestants don’t deserve their win. (Although technically, there is literally nothing differentiating those in the top 20, I’d say after watching a few contests in depth.)

    I suppose that’s the idea – start small, building up demand for conditioners, then go on to expensive under-eye creams and wrinkle-removers or whatever, then market cosmetic dental surgery/rhinoplasty/ botox..

  2. The Brazilians can have their own private beauty contest. No contest there.

    Oh, and I am fairly sure this is all totally rigged for pushing cosmetics and low self-esteem.

    Absolutely. Amazing how well the low self-esteem thing works..

  3. There are many NGO’s who strives in promoting world peace – without much expenses and hypes! I don’t understand how beauty pageants promotes world peace. Don’t recall reading any results of the outcome from their promotion 😛 It’s not a surprise that organizations around the world are still willingly investing in vanity rather than healing the economy 😉 This would go on for a long time, I am afraid.

    Yes, why isn’t there any performance appraisal of past winners? A year-end evaluation when they finish their “reign” as to what progress they have made? 😉

  4. But if we did have world peace, wouldn’t they have to close down the question-and-answer round?

    No, I think they will move on to global warming, or removing poverty, or making the world safer for centipedes 😉

  5. I don’t know about world peace but a white, a brown and a black woman each on the podium looks like political correctness is now pervading an anachronistic meat market too! Hallelujah!

    Oh yes! I was thinking, too, that the picture looked like an ad for “united colors of benetton”

  6. …this thought has been doing the rounds for a while – as idling in top gear mentioned. It is strongly rumoured that large cosmetic multinationals are the ones giving a gentle nudge to the pagents to chose the women from countries that have the magical “middle class” ( with disposable incomes). The wins have a direct corelation to sales in the country ( Look at the timing of the first winners – 94 when this middle class term started making the rounds!). And having worked with one of these companies – as ruthless as you get them, im pretty sure its true.

    I am sure it’s true, too 😀 I am surprised India hasn’t had more winners in the last few years. Will a slowing world economy make them focus more on the countries which are still growing?

  7. Its a good beauty-marketing gimmick. I remember the beauty/fashion industry picked up really well after Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta and Yukta Mukhi picked up the crowns! And look where we are today!!! But yeah…no world peace 😦

    No world peace, but we do have a few more wooden-faced actresses 😛 And a lot more demand for cosmetic surgery, I suppose..

  8. Have u observed the quality of the contestents over the period of years……either that or may be simply bcoz we have stopped noticing!!!!! whchever it is…fails to serve the purpose 🙂

    I guess they stopped pretending at some point that any testing of the intellect was involved..

  9. Looks like most markets for cosmetic products have been exhausted, so it’s back to Russia and India.

    That’s what I mean. I can see why Venezuela is not so attractive now, with falling oil prices. Atleast BRIC is still growing.

  10. Oh, it’s totally rigged. Last I heard the whole thing was about sponsorship and advertising opportunity. And world peace comes a close second to setting the big screen alight, clearly!

    Oh yes, I wish the Indian contestants would come out and say they couldn’t care for world peace, all they really want to do is earn big bucks at Bollywood.

  11. Holy Molly! These contests are rigged? Please tell me this is not true.

    Next, you will be saying that the WWE (WWF) is staged. Shudders.That would be one horrible day for mankind!!

    Uh-oh, the WWE/WWF is rigged too? That shatters my faith in humanity 😉

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